His stock has since fallen to the point that the Celtics may be able to draft the athletic youngster in the late first round at picks 21 or 22.
Jones has the length and speed to be a lot like former NBA forward Derrick McKey. He can be a premier defender if he sets his mind to it, and capable of scoring a lot like Shawn Marion. Or then, again, he could be the next Tyrus Thomas, which scares a lot of teams. He could be the next Anthony Randolph. Every year we see these types of long hybrid forwards who fail in the NBA. Ultimately, we have no idea. The lanky long small/power forward began with Scottie Pippen, and has continued, as often small forwards are counted on heavily defensively. There has to be someone to cover the LeBron James and Carmelo Anthonys of the NBA. Jones could be that type of player.
So will the Celtics grab him? NbaDraft.net predicts that they will. I don’t think Ainge could do any better, and if he snagged both Jones and maybe Fab Melo of Syracuse, he would be strengthening an already strong Celtics defense with more length and athleticism. That never hurts.
I don’t know if Jones will fall that far though. Maybe after some workouts, his draft stock will rise back to what it was. Then again, of course, it may not.
We’ll keep an eye on Jones’ stock in the upcoming weeks leading up to the Draft and see if Ainge might be able to pull a real heist. Of course, we won’t know that until years later, as Jones is still a bit of a project. Again, at pick 21/22, you could do a lot worse.